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parent education, Lombard divorce lawyersAnyone entering the post-divorce world is faced with challenges they might have never guessed they would have to face during their lifetime. Divorce takes its toll on everyone, and parents who share children are dealt an entirely different set of challenges, such as learning how to create and maintain a new, healthy lifestyle for the whole family amidst a life-altering separation.

Due to the fact that divorce has such a big effect on children and families, some counties and states provide parent education classes to help prepare them for the transition. Illinois, for example, is a state that requires divorcing parents take such courses. The idea is to help equip the parents with the tools they need to raise their children in a healthy, positive, stress-free environment during and following the split.

The Benefits

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dating after divorce, impacts of divorce, Illinois family lawyersConsidering all that you have been through during your marriage and divorce, nobody should deny you the opportunity to pursue happiness in your post-divorce life. You have the right to enjoy your new situation to its fullest, and, for many, that may mean starting a new romantic relationship. Casual dating and even a new, serious love interest can be very beneficial for your health and self-esteem following a divorce, but there are some things to keep in mind, especially if you have children.

It May Take Time

While you may have the freedom to pursue dating relationships after your divorce, you may not be ready for it immediately. This, of course, depends on what type of dating you are considering and your own emotional health. If you are ready to casually meet people for dinner and drinks on occasion, you probably have nothing to worry about. If you move directly from your marriage into another long-term serious relationship, you may want to give it a second thought, as you may not have healed yet from psychological impact that is usually inherent in divorce.

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Posted on in Child Custody

relocation, child removal, Kane County Family Law AttorneyA parent with primary physical custody of his or her child in Illinois will soon be subject to more stringent limitations regarding a move to a new residence. The changes are part of a larger family law overhaul passed by the state legislature earlier this year, and signed in July by Governor Bruce Rauner. Scheduled to take effect in 2016, the new amendment looks to address a loophole of sorts that has existed for years in Illinois law that, as of now, gives a custodial parent the freedom to move anywhere in the state without prior approval.

Two-Parent Involvement

Most of the provisions regarding family law in Illinois emphasize the best interests of a child and the positive impact of a healthy relationship with both parents. In almost every situation regarding custody and visitation, a court is required to consider how its decision will affect the parent-child interaction for both the custodial and non-custodial parent.  The current law does address a parent who wishes to move with the child, but only if the move is to a location outside of the state. On in-state moves, the law is silent. This potentially means that a parent could move from northern Chicago nearly 300 miles to East St. Louis, and according the provisions in the law, be entirely within his or her right to do so. The only exception would be if the custody order in force specifically prohibited the move.

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verbal agreement, contract, Illinois family law attorneyAs you work through the divorce process, you and your soon-to-be ex spouse will undoubtedly attempt to discuss dozens of different topics related to your split. Some may be rather mundane, such as who gets to keep the coffeepot as a wedding present. Others, however, may have more of an immediate impact, such as who is responsible for making the mortgage payments or taking the kids to school. While it may seem easier for the two of you to rely on verbal agreements, consider an aphorism that is widely known throughout the medical field and employment law: "If it is not written down, it did not happen."

Oral Contracts

Strictly speaking, a verbal agreement can constitute an oral contract. An oral contract, in turn, may be enforceable under Illinois law. The challenge, however, lies in proving the existence of the oral contract. Your husband may have told you not to worry about the rent this month, but if you cannot prove he promised to pay it and your name is also on the lease, you are likely to be stuck with no avenue for relief.

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visitation, child custody, Illinois Family LawyerThere is no question that it is very difficult for a single parent to raise a child. If you have been granted sole custody of your child, you understand exactly how hard it can be. You also probably realize the challenge of working with your child’s other parent over his or her rights to visitation. Despite the difficulties, however, it is in the best interest of most children to have an active, healthy relationship with both parents, regardless of the custody situation.

Visitation Rights in Illinois

Illinois law states that any non-custodial parent is entitled to the right of reasonable visitation with his or her child, without regard to the relationship between the parents. There is no set standard for what the law considers reasonable visitation, so each situation must be addressed on an individual basis, in light of the child’s best interest. A parent’s visitation rights may be limited and, in rare cases, terminated, but only if evidence exists that the child’s physical, mental, emotional, or moral well-being is seriously endangered.

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postnuptial agreement, finances, Lombard Family LawyerDespite the immeasurable amounts of research and advice available to married couples, financial issues continue to be among the leading causes for divorce in the United States. In fact, some experts estimate that nearly half of all American divorces are directly related to financial priorities and disagreements. Many couples looking to be proactive about money matters may decide to negotiate a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage. Others, however, may not realize the need for such arrangements until well after their wedding day. For these situations, a postnuptial agreement may be the solution.

Recognizing the Need

Postnuptial agreements are often initiated by couples who are beginning to see signs of financial concerns but are dedicated to salvaging their relationship. Such concerns may be triggered by the success of failure of a business venture, health-related issues, or the advancement in age of both spouses, among many other factors. While being objective about family matters and the future may be difficult, doing so jointly and effectively can help unite a couple in their efforts to strengthen their marriage.

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domestic abuse, false allegations, Arlington Heights Family Law AttorneyIn far too many American homes, domestic violence is a major concern, wreaking havoc on both the physical and emotional health of the victim. In the face of such actions, healthy relationships are virtually impossible. Justifiably, accusations of domestic abuse are taken very seriously by law enforcement and government agencies. During a divorce or other domestic proceedings, unfortunately, it is possible for one partner to try to take advantage of the system by making false allegations of abuse.

It can difficult for most people to fathom making unfounded accusations of criminal activity against anyone, especially their spouse. For those who do, however, they are often attempting to manipulate the law in their favor, usually related to property division or child custody. Most states’ child custody laws, including Illinois, include clauses that take violent acts or the danger of violence into consideration. The existence of an allegation or an order of protection may be all it takes to keep a parent from significant time with his or her children. While the safety of the children should certainly be paramount, no parent deserves to lose time with his or her children over fraudulent accusations. Accusations with no basis in fact often take the accused completely by surprise. He or she is often left feeling angry, betrayed, and overwhelmed. There are a few things that anyone accused of domestic violence can do, especially if the allegations are false: Stay Away from the Accuser

Being alone with the person who brought the initial allegations all provides further opportunity for new ones. By keeping a safe distance away, or by maintaining the buffer of witnesses, the accused will not be create the risk of additional false charges.

Remain Civil

Despite the stress and emotional difficulty a falsely accused person must be experiencing, it is very important to make every effort at staying calm and civil, particular in any communication with the accuser. Angry outbursts, sharp criticisms, or even sarcastic offhand comments can exponentially worsen the situation. It is also worth remembering that virtually all electronic communication, such as emails, text message, or Facebook posts, can eventually find their way into a courtroom proceeding. Extreme caution is recommended when communicating online with anyone, especially with the accuser.

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divorced parentsThe New Year brings with it lost of promise. Many people set goals for themselves in the form of New Year resolutions. Although sticking to an exercise program, eating healthier, and quitting smoking are all popular and important resolutions to have, one of the most important resolutions you can make as a divorced parent is to make what one family therapist calls the "Divorced Parent Pledge" to ensure a secure and happy life for your child.

Some of the promises a divorced parent can make to their children include:

  • Do not try to make the changes divorce brings to a child’s life sound as if it will all be a new adventure. Acknowledge that a lot of these changes can be scary, and sad, for your child. Validate their feelings. But also reassure that it will all work out and everything will be okay for them.
  • Even if your child repeats something negative about something their other parent says about you or blames you for, do not get into a finger pointing match over it. Do not use your child as a messenger delivery service to keep a feud going with your ex or to deliver child support or alimony checks.
  • If something your child does or says reminds you of the other parent, do not recoil in disgust or negativity. Remember, although your child has traits of both parents, he or she is their own individual. Embrace and love them for that.
  • Whatever visitation schedule you and your ex-spouse have worked out, it is important to allow the child to have some control over their own lives, within reason. Be flexible and try to accommodate those needs your child may have. Spending more time with one parent does not mean your child loves the other parent any less.
  • Do not have important discussions, or disagreements with your spouse, in front of your child. And also be aware that if these discussions are taking place over the phone, and your child is around, there is a strong possibility they are aware there is a disagreement taking place. Do it in private.
  • When you do have to attend events together with your ex-spouse, like school events or sport games, leave the acrimony at home. Your behavior towards each other will have a profound effect on your child’s enjoyment, so make sure the event is about your child and not whether or not you ex-spouse missed a child support payment that week.
  • Remember that at one time, you and your spouse did share good feelings for each other, such as when your child was born. Share those happy and funny stories with your child. Give them something more for their "memory boxes" than only memories of their parents fighting and hating each other.

Divorce is hard and can be devastating for children, especially if there is a child custody battle that is taking place. In these cases, it is critical to have an experienced Lombard divorce attorney representing you, especially if your soon-to-be ex-spouse is not putting your child’s needs first.

divorce stressThe Illinois Department of Health lists a total of 2,310 divorces and annulments in DuPage County in 2011. This accounts for 18 more than listed the year prior. Divorce is never a pleasant ordeal and can cause a high amount of stress for the thousands of people it affects every year. Undoubtedly, there are a number of factors that can lead to hair loss, including poor nutrition or genetics, but studies have linked stress caused by divorce to hair loss in women.

An article published by U.S. News & World Report shares research that indicates hair loss due to stress from losing a spouse is only second behind genetics as the strongest culprit in females. Health habits may change during divorce proceedings, which may be attributed to increased stress and subsequent hair loss.

Irregular sleep patterns, alcohol and tobacco use, and other unhealthy factors may all affect the stress level of any person dealing with a separation. Divorce also can have an effect on a person’s medical health as well. Healthline.com published research that shows men and women who are divorced have 20 percent more chronic health problems than those who are married, per a study by the University of Chicago and John Hopkins University.

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Posted on in Divorce
divorce mediationWhen your family is in transition, you need to find a way to bring matters to a conclusion and move on to the next chapter of your life. That is not always easy to do in a divorce or child custody case because there is so much emotion involved and, even for couples who stay together, child rearing issues never really go away. An experienced family law mediator can step in and help. Before we get to the heart of the matter, there is an important preliminary issue. It is very important to seek out an attorney-mediator who is certified in family law. Some other professionals may not understand all the financial, emotional and legal questions involved in Illinois family law matters.

Cost

Divorce is expensive. One oft-quoted statistic is that the average divorce costs $15,000. Although the number of extremely costly divorces in America may artificially drive up the average, one thing is certain: divorce is always more expensive than you had originally anticipated. Mediation reduces legal fees. Rather than spending months preparing for a three- or four-day trial, attorneys may spend a few days preparing for a mediation that lasts a few hours. Generally speaking, there is also less pretrial discovery, which means fewer hours that the lawyer must bill on the case.

Civility

Court hearings take place in a highly-charged emotional atmosphere. The opposing parties often sit only a few feet away from each other, and events occur in rapid-fire succession. Conversely, most mediations occur in a cluster of conference rooms in an office building where the atmosphere is quite informal. After the parties make their opening statements, they generally retire to separate rooms where there are long moments of inactivity which act as "cooling-off" periods. The parties are more focused on getting things done, and there is very little emotional drama.

Control

Mediation increases compliance. Parties are more likely to follow a mediation order as opposed to one that was handed down by the judge. You may tell your son to clean his room, and maybe he will. But if your son decides for himself that his room is dirty, he’s more likely to clean it. This effect is magnified if, as is often the case, one person has control issues or problems submitting to authority. Mediation does not work in all cases, but it is nearly always worth a try. For a consultation with our experienced Arlington Heights family law attorneys, contact A. Traub and Associates at (847) 749-4182.

marriage breakdown of communicationNumerous studies confirm that the primary contributing factor of divorce is the breakdown of communication. The Huffington Post recently posted the results of yet another study confirming that communication is essential for a successful marriage. The online lifestyle resource, Your Tango, recently polled 100 medical health professionals who in agreement, at 65 percent, still cite the lack of communication as the major contributor to divorce.

Dr. Kelly M. Flanagan, an Illinois licensed psychologist and contributor to The Huffington Post, begs to differ. Dr. Flanagan contributes the following additional factors as possible contributors responsible for the high rate of divorce.

We Like, Therefore We Think We Love

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Posted on in Divorce

benefits of divorceMaking the decision to divorce can be one of the hardest decisions a person has to make. A couple at this crossroads has usually struggled for years trying to make their marriage work. It can be even more heartbreaking if there are children involved.

The aftermath of divorce can feel as if a death has occurred. In a way it has – the death of the marriage. This can leave a person dealing with all kinds of emotions, ranging from grief to sadness to anger. But there is also, many times, relief felt that the person can move forward.

In fact, research has shown that for women, once they move past the grieving stage, they are actually much happier for at least the five years following their divorce, often more content than they had ever been in their lives.

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Posted on in Child Support

coparenting togetherWhen getting divorced from your spouse, you may be relieved, thinking, "Thank goodness I will never have to deal with this person again!" This is especially true if you were involved in a high-conflict marriage. However, if you and your spouse have children together, you will always have to interact with each other on some level. Beyond childhood and adolescence are college graduations, weddings and grandchildren.

Making the decision now to resolve to calmly deal with your spouse will not only make it emotionally easier for you, but more importantly, will go a long way in helping your children adjust to the divorce. Co-parenting together in agreement and without conflict offers children a more stable and happier life.

Following the 10 Commandments of co-parenting could help you and your ex-spouse reach co-parenting peace:

  1. Never put your child in the middle of conflicts between you and your ex-spouse. Remember to put your child’s need first, even if that means a compromise on your part. If you do have an issue with the other parent, try to resolve it quickly instead of letting it fester.
  2. Always treat the other parent with respect. This not only teaches your child by example, but may also open the door of reciprocation by the other parent, leading to better co-parenting.
  3. Accept that there will be different rules at the other parent’s home than you have. As long as your child is not being harmed emotionally or physically, then accept the fact that it really is "none of your business."
  4. Make sure to communicate with the other parent on a consistent basis about school and other activities that your child is involved in.
  5. If there is a problem between you and the other parent, try to resolve it instead of hiding it. You child is probably already aware of the issue, and hiding it, instead of dealing with it, could have a negative impact.
  6. Remember that you and the other parent both want what is best for your child and should be working together. Have periodically discussions about what each other’s needs are from each other to ensure you both are feeling good about your parenting.
  7. Try to share parenting responsibilities as equally as you can, otherwise resentments can build up. Not only is it not fair to the parent who is shouldering the majority of responsibility, but it is not fair to the child either.
  8. It is important to be consistent with your child when it comes to rules and lifestyles. Transitioning from one parent’s home to the other can be difficult for children, but knowing what to expect from each parent makes that transition easier on the child and the parents.
  9. It is very important for children to be able to celebrate parents’ birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and other significant events. Help your child pick out gifts and/or cards to present to the other parent.
  10. Do not keep your former in-laws away from your child. They are still your child’s grandparents and not allowing visits with them will hurt your child the most.
If you are involved in a child custody dispute, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney to find out what the best options may be for you and your child.

Divorce Effects on Children Juvenile LawThe ramifications of divorce can be numerous, especially if there are adolescent children involved. The psychological effects of divorce during the developmental years can often leave unresolved issues as your children approach their teens and even adulthood. As a parent how you handled the divorce process by ensuring your children had your support and understanding may have not been enough, especially when it comes to your adolescent engaging in risky behavior.

A teen and parent relatable webpage, created by undergraduate student, Ben Beary of Northern Illinois University, under the guidance of J. Elizabeth Miller, Ph.D., School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences, Northern Illinois University not only states the obvious, 50 percent of all marriages in the U.S. result in divorce.  Also it reiterates that adolescents of divorced families are more likely to experience academic and psychological problems often leading to risky behavior outbreaks.

If you recently divorced and have noticed an increase in undesirable behavior in your son or daughter and legal issues arise, you may require the services of an experienced family law attorney to assist with navigating through the Illinois juvenile system. How do you help your child on a personal level?

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retirement age marriageStatistics show that gray divorce – divorce for people who are 50 years old or older – has doubled since 1990. 60 percent who will decide to give marriage a second try will not have any better luck than they did the first time.

Legal and financial advisers say there are steps that older couples can take to help their chances of having a successful marriage the second time around, including communication and a prenuptial agreement.

Especially of concern for people who are close to or already retired are finances. According to some studies, the majority of couples who are engaged fail to discuss their present and future financial situations with each other before they are married. Communication before marriage is essential. This can be especially critical for older people who have been saving all their lives for retirement, only to find out their new spouse has serious financial obligations they knew nothing about.

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divorced illinois fathersThe bond between a mother and her child is undeniable. According to a recent article by Parenting magazine contributing editor and co-author of Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth Deepak Chopra, M.D., a close personal attachment with your child may prevent diseases, boost immunity and enhance the IQ quotient of your child’s developing mind. Dr. Chopra further believes that maternal bonding has evolved into such a complex physiological phenomenon that touches our hearts, brains, hormones, nervous systems or about every component of our physical being. The study included in Chopra’s book, made possible by a grant from Mead Johnson Nutrition, suggests that a strong maternal bond may prove even more powerful than DNA.

But where does all this research leave Illinois fathers trying to establish a paternal bond with their children post-divorce? Recently, the Illinois Fathers Network, founded in 2008 and recently established as a non-profit organization, is trying to answer this question for Illinois fathers and other non-custodial family members by proposing three revisions to current Illinois statutes.

HB5425 Synopsis

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adoption attorney, adoption lawyer, Illinois adoption laws, Hague convention, family lawDetermining whether or not adoption is the right path for you takes careful consideration. It is not a decision you will reach quickly, because your decision may affect the child, you and your spouse, and the birth parents. There are some tough questions to ask not of the adoption agency but of yourself.

Planned Parenthood, a trusted healthcare provider of women around the globe, offers a list of questions to potential adoptive parents to encourage considerations before moving forward with your decision to adopt a child into your life and your home.

  • Am I ready to become a parent?
  • Do I have adequate finances to care for a child?
  • How will adoption affect my future?
  • Will I be haunted by the fact that I am not the biological parent?
  • Is adoption something I feel I should do or is it what I want to do?
  • How important are other people’s opinions of adoption to me?

You may also want to consider and truthfully explore the following pros and cons of adoption before contacting an experienced adoption attorney in your area.

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Arlington heights family law attorney, finding a lawyer, divorce, Illinois, Lombard family lawyerOne of the most important steps in going through a divorce is choosing your attorney. Having the right attorney can help determine how smooth, or how wrought with delays and frustrations your divorce will be.

When choosing an attorney, you should consider several candidates. Get referrals from several sources. If you have friends who have recently gone through divorces, ask them. Depending on how their divorces went, some may even recommend their ex-spouse's attorney instead of their own. It is also a good idea to get referrals from other attorneys. If you have an attorney you consult with for business or an estate planning attorney, contact them and ask them for a referral. You can also visit the websites of your local and state bar associations to get names of family law attorneys.

After gathering referrals, take the time to research each one in order to help whittle down the list of you will make interview. The Internet is a good place to do this research. Check out the attorney’s website, as well as their LinkedIn page and other social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.  Some of the things to consider while conducting your research are:

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Posted on in Divorce

online divorce, DIY divorce, Lombard divorce attorney, Lombard divorce lawyer, IllinoisWith the advancement of the internet, it is possible to enjoy all the goods and services we have become accustomed to without ever leaving home. We can order our groceries, style a new wardrobe, do our banking, pay bills and chat with our doctor all from the convenience of our homes. However, the internet does not make us all experts on everything. It is not recommended that you file for divorce online, where scams and false information can be common.

If you are contemplating divorce, the American Bar Association hosts an informative research page providing answers to frequently asked questions and a divorce term glossary. Reputable sites can be helpful but beware of lesser sites offering a quick and affordable online divorce options.

Websites offering you a quick, affordable online divorce can prove perilous for the following reasons:

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maiden name, name change, marriage, divorce, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois divorce attorneyAccording to a study that spanned 35 years and was published in Social Behavior and Personality, just under 25 percent of women who married in the 1990’s kept their maiden name. In the 2000’s, this number leveled off at around 18 percent. More women in the Northeast (20 percent) keep their maiden names than women in the Midwest (4 percent).

When going through a divorce, women are given the option of keeping their married last name or going back to their maiden name. For women who are undecided at the time of the divorce, it’s important to make sure that it is clearly spelled out in the final divorce decree that they may do so in the future. Otherwise, it will be necessary to go back to court in order to have the divorce decree amended.

There are several things to consider when deciding which last name to use after a divorce. If there are children from the marriage, some women make the decision to keep their married name in order to still share the same last name with their kids.

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